Saturday, June 29, 2013

Friday's Faith - Our Sufferings… His Love...

Hebrews 4:16
~Hers To Treasure 

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Friday's Faith

Our Sufferings… His Love...

Faith in Christ makes short work of all our sins. Then the devil has launched forth another host of serpents in the form of worldly trials, temptations, unbelief; but faith in Jesus is more than a match for them, and overcomes them all. The same absorbing principle shines in the faithful service of God!  

With an enthusiastic love for Jesus difficulties are surmounted, sacrifices become pleasures, sufferings are honours. 

~Charles Spurgeon in his June 28 evening devotional...


2 Corinthians 4:4-18 (NIV):
4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


2 Corinthians 4:8

2 Corinthians 4:8 (Good News Translation)

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;

These past few weeks have been terribly hard for me. The above Scripture says, "We are often troubled, but not crushed." Actually, I felt very close to the breaking point, that point of being crushed. It was a daily turmoil, a daily struggle, and I knew not its origin, I knew not its cause. There was no single problem that made such a struggle obvious. I was simply bottomed out, with no reserve left...

As I bottomed out, I pretty much felt the opposite of this verse. Not only was I afflicted in every way, but I felt crushed. Not only was I terribly perplexed but I felt a great deal of despair. It was again a seeming perfect storm as my weakness and my being worn down crashed into my vulnerabilities, which revealed all my worst fears which felt like they actively, here-and-now, were coming to pass… 
Post-Traumatic Stress was loudly barking out its destructive message of "Terror, Loss, Hurt, Pain, Betrayal, Fear, Weakness, Impotence, Helplessness ARE ALL HERE, NOW, and you have NOWHERE to run!" 

But, after talking some of this out with Tommy, and crying out many times to my Lord, I was not left holding only this crushing despair, as I did feel the amazing  supernatural peace of my Lord come over me as He comforted my heart and brought light into my soul. Only my Lord could overcome such darkness… 

I literally felt the following verse play out in my life at that point:

16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 

2 Corinthians 4:16-17

~Sweet to the Soul

Thankfully, the Scripture goes on to say:

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

~2 Corinthians 4:17

God does not deny the severity of our situation; His Word confirms that pain, but He also provides His prescription to soothe and overcome our bouts of that pain, even while assuring us that our labors and sufferings here are not in vain; He sees them and uses them for an eternal glory that far outweighs our temporal, here-and-now distress. And then He reminds us we cannot allow ourselves to get stuck in all the darkness of our fears, but must turn our hearts to Him, allowing Him to penetrate the force-field of our despair, allowing Him to engulf us in His arms, hold us in His abiding love, and supersede our fears with reminders of His constant care, which then enables us to begin to entrust ourselves to Him again… 

Our suffering is duly noted by Him, and comforted. Our sufferings are held up in the light of His higher viewpoint which gives us Hope, and then our eyes are drawn to Himself who is, by His Own words, characterized as "Love," for Him to nurture our wounds, hold us in His comfort as a mother soothes her wounded child, and give us the Hope from His eternal perspective, so that we may rest, and find sustenance for another day…

May God bless all of us grieving mothers and daddies who find ourselves oft overwhelmed in the darkness of this grief and the life-altering desolations that so often come after the death of our precious child…

~Hers To Treasure 

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it. 
~Hebrews 4:16 NLT


~Hers To Treasure 

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

~2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (New International Version)


2 Corinthians 5:7

I will walk by Faith even when I cannot see.

~Daily Scripture Promises 

For we live by faith, not by sight.

For we live by believing and not by seeing.

~2 Corinthians 5:7


Psalm 31:7

~Hers To Treasure 

New International Version (©2011)

I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.


Psalm 34:18

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tuesday's Trust - Gone... But Still Alive..., Part One

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it. 

~Hebrews 4:16 (New Living Translation)

Tuesday's Trust

Gone... But Still Alive...

Where are our children now? What is it like in Heaven? Who is in Heaven? God plainly spells it out in His Scripture found in Hebrews 12:22-24:

  • But you have come to Mount Zion, to the City of the living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem.

  • You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,

  • To the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in Heaven.

  • You have come to God, the Judge of all,

  • To the spirits of the righteous made perfect,

  • To Jesus the Mediator of a New Covenant, and

  • To the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

~Hebrews 12:22-24








Pictures, thanks to
~Hers To Treasure
~Angela Starkey via pinterest via "3:16 To Heaven"
~Angela Starkey via pinterest via "3:16 To Heaven"
~Angela Starkey via pinterest via "3:16 To Heaven"~Greg Olson, artist
~Angela Starkey via pinterest via "3:16 To Heaven"~ "In the Arms of His Love - Greg Olsen"
~Angela Starkey via pinterest via "3:16 To Heaven"

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday's Mourning Ministry - Take My Hand Precious Lord (Live) ~Marshall Hall, Angela Primm, Jason Crabb

Monday's Mourning Ministry

Take My Hand, Precious Lord (Live)

~Marshall Hall, Angela Primm, Jason Crabb

Take My Hand, Precious Lord (Live)

~Marshall Hall, Angela Primm, Jason Crabb

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on,
Let me stand
I'm tired, I am weak I am worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When my way grows drear precious Lord linger near
When my life is almost gone
Hear my cry,
Hear my call
Hold my hand lest I fall
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When the darkness appears and the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet,
Hold my hand
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on,
Let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home 

Graphic, thanks to ~365 Promises
Grief Song:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Saturday's Sayings - The Nature of Grief and Healing… - Part Three

Saturday's Sayings

The Nature of Grief and Healing…

Part Three








Grief causes a fog to roll into our lives. The fog of grief can affect our ability to think or concentrate. This fog often sets in right after a loved one has died. But even after the shock wears off, the fog can linger or come and go for a long time.

One grieving man told me how he came out of a grocery store, pushed his cart full of groceries to his car, then got in his car and drove home---leaving the groceries behind. Another woman described how she'd read the same page of a book five or six times and still couldn't remember what she'd read.

What happens is that our grief gets so heavy that it surrounds us, clouds our minds, and interferes with our ability to think clearly. We're on overload.

People describe this feeling in many ways: "going through the motions," "a robotic existence," "functioning at 50 percent," "forgetful and confused," on a 10-second time delay," or "disoriented and indecisive," to name just a few.




I can't stop this pain inside of me
I can't stop the tears from falling
The silence ever after
is such a lonely place to be.

~Grieving Mother, TeriAnn Sargent




I am the loneliness of the tree as she
loses her falling leaves
I am the long winter that yearns for spring's return
I am the cold wind that blows through the soul
I am the thunder that trembles through the dark night
I am the tears that fall like pouring rain
I am the love without end
I am the grieving heart.

~Grieving mother, TeriAnn Sargent

Graphics, thanks to:
~Grieving Mothers
~2012: Love and Loss
~Out of the Ashes
~2012: Love and Loss
~Grieving mother, Janet Morris Costley
~2012: Love and Loss
~2012: Love and Loss
~2012: Love and Loss
~2012: Love and Loss
~Out of the Ashes
~2012: Love and Loss
~My grieving heart
~2012: Love and Loss
~2012: Love and Loss
~My grieving heart

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday's Faith - Where is My Child Now?

Friday's Faith

Where is My Child Now?

I said, God I hurt

And God said, I know

I said, I cry a lot

...And God said, That's why I gave you tears

I said, Life is so hard

And God said, That's why I gave you loved ones

I said, But my loved one died!!!

And God said, So did Mine!!!

I said, It's such a great loss!!!

And God said, I saw Mine nailed to a cross!!!

I said, But Your Loved One lives!!!

And God said, So does yours!!!

I said, Where is he now?

And God said, My Son is by My side, and

Your son is in My arms!!!

~Author Unknown

Pictures, thanks to
~Amber Woolsey of Pinterest, and 
~Death of a Loved One Quotes, Poems, and Resources of Facebook

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday's Therapy - The Myth of the Eight-Hour Sleep ~Stephanie Hegarty

Thursday's Therapy

The Myth of the Eight-Hour Sleep

~Stephanie Hegarty

We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night - but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.

In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month.

It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep.

Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists.

In 2001, historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech published a seminal paper, drawn from 16 years of research, revealing a wealth of historical evidence that humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks.
His book At Day's Close: Night in Times Past, published four years later, unearths more than 500 references to a segmented sleeping pattern - in diaries, court records, medical books and literature, from Homer's Odyssey to an anthropological account of modern tribes in Nigeria.

Much like the experience of Wehr's subjects, these references describe a first sleep which began about two hours after dusk, followed by waking period of one or two hours and then a second sleep.
"It's not just the number of references - it is the way they refer to it, as if it was common knowledge," Ekirch says.

During this waking period people were quite active. They often got up, went to the toilet or smoked tobacco and some even visited neighbours. Most people stayed in bed, read, wrote and often prayed. Countless prayer manuals from the late 15th Century offered special prayers for the hours in between sleeps.

And these hours weren't entirely solitary - people often chatted to bed-fellows or had sex. A doctor's manual from 16th Century France even advised couples that the best time to conceive was not at the end of a long day's labour but "after the first sleep", when "they have more enjoyment" and "do it better".

Ekirch found that references to the first and second sleep started to disappear during the late 17th Century. This started among the urban upper classes in northern Europe and over the course of the next 200 years filtered down to the rest of Western society.

By the 1920s the idea of a first and second sleep had receded entirely from our social consciousness.
He attributes the initial shift to improvements in street lighting, domestic lighting and a surge in coffee houses - which were sometimes open all night. As the night became a place for legitimate activity and as that activity increased, the length of time people could dedicate to rest dwindled.

In his new book, Evening's Empire, historian Craig Koslofsky puts forward an account of how this happened. "Associations with night before the 17th Century were not good," he says. The night was a place populated by people of disrepute - criminals, prostitutes and drunks. "Even the wealthy, who could afford candlelight, had better things to spend their money on. There was no prestige or social value associated with staying up all night."

That changed in the wake of the Reformation and the counter-Reformation. Protestants and Catholics became accustomed to holding secret services at night, during periods of persecution. If earlier the night had belonged to reprobates, now respectable people became accustomed to exploiting the hours of darkness.

This trend migrated to the social sphere too, but only for those who could afford to live by candlelight. With the advent of street lighting, however, socialising at night began to filter down through the classes.
In 1667, Paris became the first city in the world to light its streets, using wax candles in glass lamps. It was followed by Lille in the same year and Amsterdam two years later, where a much more efficient oil-powered lamp was developed. London didn't join their ranks until 1684 but by the end of the century, more than 50 of Europe's major towns and cities were lit at night.

Night became fashionable and spending hours lying in bed was considered a waste of time.
"People were becoming increasingly time-conscious and sensitive to efficiency, certainly before the 19th Century," says Roger Ekirch. "But the industrial revolution intensified that attitude by leaps and bounds."

Strong evidence of this shifting attitude is contained in a medical journal from 1829 which urged parents to force their children out of a pattern of first and second sleep. "If no disease or accident there intervene, they will need no further repose than that obtained in their first sleep, which custom will have caused to terminate by itself just at the usual hour. And then, if they turn upon their ear to take a second nap, they will be taught to look upon it as an intemperance not at all redounding to their credit."

Today, most people seem to have adapted quite well to the eight-hour sleep, but Ekirch believes many sleeping problems may have roots in the human body's natural preference for segmented sleep as well as the ubiquity of artificial light.

This could be the root of a condition called sleep maintenance insomnia, where people wake during the night and have trouble getting back to sleep, he suggests. The condition first appears in literature at the end of the 19th Century, at the same time as accounts of segmented sleep disappear. 

"For most of evolution we slept a certain way," says sleep psychologist Gregg Jacobs. "Waking up during the night is part of normal human physiology." The idea that we must sleep in a consolidated block could be damaging, he says, if it makes people who wake up at night anxious, as this anxiety can itself prohibit sleep and is likely to seep into waking life too.

Russell Foster, a professor of circadian [body clock] neuroscience at Oxford, shares this point of view.
"Many people wake up at night and panic," he says. "I tell them that what they are experiencing is a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern." But the majority of doctors still fail to acknowledge that a consolidated eight-hour sleep may be unnatural."Over 30% of the medical problems that doctors are faced with stem directly or indirectly from sleep. But sleep has been ignored in medical training and there are very few centres where sleep is studied," he says.

Jacobs suggests that the waking period between sleeps, when people were forced into periods of rest and relaxation, could have played an important part in the human capacity to regulate stress naturally.
In many historic accounts, Ekirch found that people used the time to meditate on their dreams.

"Today we spend less time doing those things," says Dr Jacobs. "It's not a coincidence that, in modern life, the number of people who report anxiety, stress, depression, alcoholism and drug abuse has gone up.

So the next time you wake up in the middle of the night, think of your pre-industrial ancestors and relax. Lying awake could be good for you.

~BBC World Service

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday's Woe - The "Take-Away" of the Special Day ~Tommy Prince

Wednesday's Woe

The "Take-Away" of the Special Day

~Tommy Prince

We learned in math, that in subtraction, 

five "take-away" one equals four, 


five minus one equals four, 


"5 - 1 = 4." 


5 members of a family minus 1 member of the family = a family of 4. 

But in our case of Child-Loss, it feels more like 

5 take away 1 = "Forever Suffering…"

Having come through this weekend of the Father's Day holiday, in which the focus is on a father and his relationship with his children, I notice that no matter how much I try to delight in, or enjoy, the day, I always end up experiencing more of a "take-away" feeling. I cannot seem to "enjoy" the day, as 

the one "take-away" overwhelms the four remainder, 

so that 

the one is "greater than" the four


"1 > 4" 

in math terminology, which destroys the whole logic of mathematics. That shouldn't be surprising as the whole order of our family has been shattered as well. 

The sense of a "take-away" is heightened on these special days. No matter how much Angie and I try to be "up," the "take-away" brings us back "down." The "take-away" takes away the desire to even want to celebrate these days. Our hearts just won't do it; somehow our hearts want to mourn, not celebrate… We cannot get "up" because something's been "taken away," and our poor hearts and bodies know that all too well!  

On the surface, we can call them "Mother's Day," "Father's Day," or "Birthdays," but our hearts know they are really "Take-Away" days. 

The "take-away" overwhelms everything else. 

The one "take-away" is going to outnumber the four remaining here on this earth no matter the day, no matter the holiday, no matter how much we may try to "move on."

Playing on the titles of these child-story-books on math, it's as if our hearts continually plummet under death's "Action of Subtraction," and are daily longing for God's Ultimate Day when He performs His eternal "Mission of Addition," when our family will be restored to all of its members, and once again, the sum of its parts will be greater than the whole.

Pictures, thanks to 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday's Trust - A Prayer for You, and a Revelation...

Tuesday's Trust

A Prayer for You, and a Revelation...

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

~Ephesians 3:14-21

Over the years of reading this Scripture, I had always wondered in reading it, "How is it that we might ever have the power to really grasp the depths of Christ's love for us?" How is such comprehension really possible? In reading this familiar Scripture this week, I became aware for the first time that God is also telling us another very critical answer to a mysterious dilemma. In this Scripture, God is telling us that He wants us to know His love…, that love... that surpasses all knowledge…! 

We have so many questions about our deceased child, questions many of which will not fully be answered this side of Heaven. So how is it we live with such vacuum of knowledge of that which we  feel we really need to know? God tells us here. 

Whenever I have pleadingly asked Him a question about my child, I have noticed that He doesn't always directly answer me; instead, He comes to me and meets me in my pain, and somehow there is an alchemy there, resulting in a transformation that takes place in my heart, such that my questions that were all-important in the moment are no longer so all important as I experience and am overwhelmed with being in the presence of God Himself, and of feeling such amazing and tender love toward me and toward my child, and suddenly, that IS enough. The questions just seem to melt into thin air.

And now, I see why. He tells us here, that love of His, of which He wants us to know the height and depth, the width and length, is the only thing in this world that can surpass all knowledge, to the point that the details really don't matter. His love is everything that our soul needs, that our hearts crave, that our minds melt in, that our bodies bask in, and that love is all that we really need to begin to heal the brokenness that has befallen us due to the drastic devastation of Hell's worst evil that can ever befall a mommy and daddy, for it is the only thing, the only thing, that could ever be enough to absorb such evil and satisfy its hungry jowls. And then He amazingly uses that extreme vulnerability in our hearts and souls, our bodies and minds, to draw us under His wing, to be touched by His love,  to experience the sweetness of His presence, which gives us hope for yet another day...

Picture, thanks to ~Daily Scripture Promises